Tuesday Tip: Your Logo is Your Identity

Note: As a supplier member for the Kansas Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds in 2015, I wrote two Tuesday Tips for the group’s email newsletter.

So you’ve decided you need a new logo for your park or campground. Or maybe you’re wanting a logo for the first time. How do you get it done?

Whether you decide to work with a graphic designer in person or online, a website that generates logos or your niece or nephew who needs a project for a class, here are some things you should keep in mind through the process:

• Your logo is your identity. Or in today’s market-speak, it’s your “brand.” It should help people see if what you offer is what they are looking for. Is your company fun and free-spirited, down-to-earth or serious business? The fonts (lettering) and graphics that you choose should convey what you want your potential customers to know about you at first glance.

• Is there an image that best represents your business? Maybe there is a landmark identified with your campground or your location that can be incorporated in the design.

• Keep it simple. Think about the products and services you use— FedEx, Apple Computers, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Nike. Their logos may have changed slightly over the years, but their simplicity allows for versatility while retaining the recognition.

• You and your designer should be able to communicate clearly. That goes both ways. Your designer should listen to you and get to know your business and what you want to say through your logo. But you should likewise listen to your designer. A good designer will be able to explain why a particular font or graphic element fits what you want to convey.

• On the other hand, if your designer can only say the logo they present to you is “trendy,” ask for something else or find another designer. Hand-drawn fonts and retro graphics might be in today, but they will look dated in a few years. Your logo should be a lasting representation of your business, not the latest marketing bandwagon.

• You get what you pay for. You can generate a logo in minutes on websites like DesignMantic or Tailor Brands for cheap, or go to a “content farm” site like elance or fiverr and work with a freelancer who is churning out logos at a pace that would make Henry Ford proud, but those logos likely will not represent you in the way I’ve described here. Working with a professional is best, but if you are on a budget, look to a community college or university with a graphic design program. Just don’t take advantage of a student and expect something for free — you wouldn’t want a customer like that, after all.

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